English signage at Iximché is limited. To get a better understanding of the historical significance and functions of the site, explore with a guide. Guided tours depart from Panajachel, Antigua, and Puerto Quetzal, a popular stop-off for cruise ships. Some full-day tours from Guatemala City combine a visit to the Iximché ruins with a guided tour of colonial Antigua. Multi-day tours of Guatemala often include stops at several Maya sites including Iximché, Tikal, and Yaxhá.
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Things to know before you go
- Iximché remains a place of pilgrimage for indigenous people; be respectful of those taking part in prayer rituals or ceremonies.
- Because of the elevated setting in the highlands, it can feel a little chilly here, especially between November and February, so bring a light jacket.
- There is a small museum at the site.
How to get there
Iximché is in Guatemala’s Western Highlands, and makes a good stop-off when passing between Lake Atitlán and Antigua. Driving from Antigua or Panajachel takes about 80 minutes. If you don’t have access to a car, the easiest way to get here is by hiring private transportation or taking an organized tour.
When to get there
If you’re visiting during the rainy season from May to October, arrive early in the morning, as rain tends to fall most during the afternoon and evening. Weekdays are quieter than weekend
Maya ruins in Guatemala
The remains of Maya cities are scattered all around Guatemala, offering insight into the history of the region’s indigenous people. The most famous—and perhaps most impressive—ruins are found in Tikal, where huge climbable pyramids rise from the jungle. Yaxhá, also in the north of the country, features more than 500 structures. El Mirador—hidden away in the dense Petén jungle—is difficult to reach, though those who do make the effort are rewarded with glimpses of the largest known structure in the Maya world, the 236-foot (72-meter) La Danta pyramid.
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- La Merced Church (Iglesia de la Merced)
- Cerro de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross)
- Santa Catalina Arch (Arco de Santa Catalina)
- Antigua City Hall (Palacio del Ayuntamiento)
- Antigua Central Park (Parque Central)
- Las Capuchinas (Convento de Las Capuchinas)
- Palace of the Captains General (Palacio de los Capitanes Generales)
- Jade Factory and Museum (Jade Maya)
- Catedral de Santiago (Antigua Cathedral)
- ChocoMuseo Antigua
- Museum of Colonial Art (Museo de Arte Colonial)
- Casa Santo Domingo (Monasterio de Santo Domingo)
- Church of San Francisco (Iglesia de San Francisco)